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6 Key Times You Should Review Your Life Cover

time to review your life insurance text on image of reviews smiley face

When should you review your life insurance?

Stubbing your toe.

Stepping on Lego.

Arranging Life insurance.

All three suck but you’ll quickly recover from the first two. However if your life cover is no longer fit for purpose, this could have far reaching consequences for your loved ones.

I get it:

Nobody likes to think about their own death in the first place.

Once you have your policy, you stick it in a drawer, cross your fingers, say a quick prayer, slam that drawer and hope you never, ever see it again.

For some people life insurance is “set it and forget it”

Big mistake:

You should review your life insurance, mortgage protection and income protection policies regularly to check two things:

  1. Is there better cover available?
  2. Is your policy still suitable for your changing needs?

1) Is there better life insurance available?

Back in the day, life insurance was basic – you paid your premiums, and if you died, your family got a big lump of money. All policies were the same.

Think of it like coffee, it was black and hot no matter where you bought it.

Fast forward a couple of years, and coffee has changed, changed to the extent that I’m embarrassed to order my wife’s

Irish free range goats milk-half-caf-half-decaf-cappuccino – extra hot – with a dash of Madagascar cinnamon-and half tablespoon of caramel-latte-frappa-mocha.

Notions, wha!

Like coffee, life insurance is hardly recognisable from days of yore, yes, it still pays a big lump sum should you die but it also has many. many, maaaaaaaany ancillary benefits like:

These benefits provide ‘softer’ skills – a friendly listening ear, practical information, and much needed emotional support both for you and your family.

2) Is your policy still for purpose?

You might be wondering:

How often should you review your life insurance?

We all experience “life events” as we get older. When you do, take your policy out of the drawer and dust it off.

five triggers for reviewing your cover text on image of number 5

1. You’re having a baby

Congratulations!

Your life is about to change for the better, but with a bundle of joy comes a bunch of responsibilities. You’re no longer THE most important person; little Johnny is. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to make sure Johnny is taken care of should something happen to you or your partner.

But here’s the kicker:

If you think mortgage protection will be enough, I hate to be the one to break it to you but it won’t be.

You see mortgage protection policy will clear your mortgage and ensure your child has somewhere to live but it won’t replace your income. Where’s the money going to come from to pay for food and clothes and education and and and…

You’ll need a life insurance policy too. Should you pop your clogs, your life insurance policy will leave a lump sum of money to replace your income making sure little Johnny is taken care of.

2. You’re getting married

Congratulations…again.

Once you’re married, you’ll share everything with your partner…including financial obligations.

You might be thinking you don’t need to life insurance until you hear the pitter patter of tiny feet. And that’s fair enough, after all life insurance exists to protect financial dependents so if you’re both financially independent, you don’t need life cover.

But some life insurance policies have maternity benefits that are only available if you put the policy in place before pregnancy – something to consider if you’re planning to start a family.

Click here to read our Newlywed’s life insurance guide.

3. You’re buying a home

Congrat..

 

If you’re getting a mortgage, you need mortgage protection. Simple as. It’s a legal requirement so it’s unavoidable. Mortgage protection doesn’t do much for you personally but it covers the bank’s arse making sure your debt to them is cleared.

But be careful:

Don’t rush in and buy cover from the first bank that flutters their eyelids at you – have a read of this first

4. Changing jobs

I take it you’re moving because you’re going to get paid more in your new job?

As your income has risen, you should increase your life cover too. Remember life insurance replaces your income if you die. If there’s more income to replace, then you need more life insurance.

That €250,000 life cover you took out when you earned €30k as a graduate certainly isn’t fit for purpose now you’ve moved into your corner office on the top floor and are earning the big bucks.

5. Has your marital status changed?

If you’re suddenly single through death or separation you need to consider reviewing your life cover.

The first question to ask is whether you actually need cover any more. Do your children rely on your income? Do you have savings to cover “final expenses”?

On the flipside, if you have young children and your partner has passed away, you may need additional cover. You’re now the sole earner and your children are 100% reliant on you.

You’ll need to look at life insurance and income protection.

Did I say 5 triggers, well there’s actually a sixth:

6) Health changes

Back when you took out your policy, were you carefree, overweight, boozing and smoking?

Now you’ve got kids, you’re eating healthier and getting in some cross-fit?

Excellent.

Quitting the smokes (or replacing with vaping), lowering your cholesterol or blood pressure, and losing a few inches are great news for life insurance premiums. These aren’t the only health changes that could reduce your premium, but some of the more common ones.

Here’s the thing:

Time is a great healer when it come to life insurance. If you had to pay extra due to your health back in the day, I might be able to get you the normal price now if your health has improved.

On the other hand, if you’ve had some health issues since you took out your policy,  don’t worry, they won’t affect your policy. This is why you should buy as much life insurance as you can afford when you’re young and healthy.

Over to you..

Treat major life events as a trigger for reviewing life cover. Speak to a professional who can advise whether you’re under insured or over insured. Some one like us

We’re life insurance experts, that’s all we do and we would be delighted to help you.

Call me on 05793 20836 or complete this questionnaire and I’ll be right back.

Nick McGowan
lion.ie | making life insurance easier

Next Lesson – Income Protection → Previous Lesson – Life Insurance Dictionary

 

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